Mumbai: Virender Sehwag has been out of the Indian team for quite some time. But the opener has done well in this year’s IPL while playing for the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).
After authoring a match-winning 58-ball 122-run innings in Qualifier 2 against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Sehwag compared KXIP coach Sanjay Bangar to former India coach Gary Kirsten, who was in charge when the team triumphed in the 2011 World Cup.
“Our coach Sanjay Bangar did a fantastic job. He motivated everybody. If you compare Sanjay with Gary Kirsten, he is equally good. He is as calm as Gary was,” Sehwag said at the post-match media conference.
Sehwag said a big knock was due from him for a long time. “My one innings was due, but when it would come I didn’t know. It came at a good time like the play-offs…
“My conscious effort was that I play well and give a good performance and try and help my team win,” he said.
“It came after a long time… When I was out of the (Indian) team, everybody was expecting, everybody was hoping that I would score a hundred or a double hundred in first-class cricket, but that didn’t happen.
“When your time is not good, you can’t do anything. I was doing everything right, but I was not able to score runs. Today was my day and I just told myself CSK should pay on my day,” he added.
He also said that he wants to work on his technique. “My technique is not that great… So I have to correct it. I have to back myself, I have to believe in myself and go out there and give my 100 per cent.
“If I click, other teams have to pay and if I don’t click then our team have to pay.”
Sehwag said that he has told hard-hitting Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell that he should also focus on playing Test cricket. “I told him that Test cricket is the best cricket… If he wants to make his name, then he has to play Test cricket. He is very keen,” Sehwag said.
Kings XI captain George Bailey, on the other hand, has lavished praise on young left-arm spinner Akshar Patel.
“He is a mini Buddha. He is 20 years old and it’s like he is 45 years old… He is very calm. He is very wise. He is a pleasure to play with and he works really hard.
“You have just seen how his responsibility has grown as the tournament has gone. To start with, we tried to bowl him in suitable times and he did that really well.
“He is now our go-to bowler. He is bowling to the key batsmen in the opposition team.
“We were really thrilled that he has been picked (in the Indian squad) for the tour of Bangladesh… We are really proud for him,” Bailey said.